Monday AM December 14th, 2009

The Rice Alliance venture capital forums, which bring entrepreneurs together with capital investors, continue to help springboard new companies. That can help with local employment, as Ed Mayberry reports.

Rice Alliance logoFifty-five entrepreneurs seeking funding for early-stage companies met with venture capital investors at Rice last week.  Some attendees were looking for second or third careers, hoping to help lead or manage one of these companies.  Brad Burke is managing director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, and dealing with start-ups gives him a positive outlook.

"You know, I deal with a lot of entrepreneurs and our focus is on folks who are trying to start companies and create jobs and grow companies.  And I see more people trying to start companies than ever before, and I see more investors looking for good opportunities to put their money to work, and so, the stock market may be down, and that's given, driven even more people to look for, you know, great business opportunities to put their money to work."

The Rice forums bring together mentors and advisers, as well as entrepreneurs and investors.

"You know, we had an energy clean technology venture capital forum in September, just a couple months ago, and we had over 600 people attend.  About 60 investors-venture capital investors--from around the country, and 60 companies present.  So when you see the kinds of companies that these entrepreneurs are launching and there are a number of exciting companies that have the potential to change the world and solve some of these problems.  You know, that's what we're seeing from this end."

Burke says Houston has fared better economically than the rest of the country, because of its energy focus, as well as the Medical Center and life sciences, nanotechnology and information technology. 

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...